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LA County reimposes indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

Los Angeles County is bringing back its indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status, county officials said Thursday, as it grapples with rising case counts once again.

The new measure takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The nation’s most populous county, where 52% of residents have been fully vaccinated, reported 1,537 new cases Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seventh straight day with new cases exceeding 1,000.

“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late, given what we’re seeing,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said during a press briefing covered by local outlet KTLA5.

“Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccination status, so they can stop the trends and level of transmission we’re currently seeing,” Davis added. “We expect to keep this order in place until we begin to see improvements.”

The spike in cases is not exclusive to southern California. Cases have jumped nationwide as the Delta variant spreads across the country, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker, and has spread rapidly in areas where vaccination rates are lower.

New cases have rippled across states from Tennessee, Florida and Missouri to Massachusetts and California, all of which have seen 14-day increases of well over 100%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Vaccinations, however, have slowed across the country, with the U.S. averaging just 530,000 doses given daily, down from well over a million per day in May.

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